Some exciting exhibitions and events are planned for this year by volunteers who run Grantham Museum.
The St Peter’s Hill facility has been operated since 2012 by the Grantham Community Heritage Association, made up of volunteers who are passionate about the town’s history and allowing people to learn about it.
Several temporary exhibitions and one-off events are lined up for 2017, to run alongside permanent displays such as those on Margaret Thatcher and the Dambusters, and an apothecary. Among the topics to be explored will be archaeology, fashion and hobbies.
Museum manager Tracey Smith said: “I am looking forward to the wide variety of events the museum has this year, but particularly I’m looking forward to ‘Past Under Our Feet’ including the founder of the museum, Henry Preston.”
Saturday supervisor Michelle Auckland added: “It’s great to be a part of and I am looking forward to the changing exhibitions, particularly the fashion exhibition from May.”
Not only that, the museum has a few surprises up its sleeves to ‘keep this year ticking over with excitement’ and hopes to attract visitors from around the globe.
This year marks the fifth anniversary of the museum’s reopening and celebrations will include praise for the volunteers who have worked hard to keep it running.
A spokesman said: “The museum still faces challenging times and the environment of funding around heritage projects remains scarce. The museum relies on its volunteers, donations from the public and sponsorship of its exhibitions to stay afloat.”
In the coming weeks it will be recruiting a volunteer fund-raising director to focus on the museum’s fund-raising strategy for the next five years and look to the future direction of the museum, helping it to remain fresh and stand out from the crowd.
Events and exhibitions coming up this year include:
n ‘Past Under Our Feet’: This exhibition was opened yesterday (Thursday) and continues into May, with the kind support of the Grantham Archaeology Group. Henry Preston, the man who helped to found Grantham Museum and Public Library in 1926, is included in the exhibition. An archaeologist, he discovered fossil remains of a dinosaur which was once on show at Grantham Museum.
Also forming part of the display are: Look before you build – archaeology and construction; Metal detecting – good or bad?; History spotting – can you identify these things ‘under our feet’ in Grantham?; and Fossils under our Feet.
There will also be an interactive ‘mini dig’ for children, who can go on the search for their own pieces of history.
The spokesman said: “The students of Grantham College have provided amazing support in designing and producing the graphics, exhibition panels and imagery for this exhibition. We believe you will be just as impressed as we are.”
n ‘Do Something New’: Taking place on February 18, this event is a showcase of some of the most interesting hobbies and things to do in Grantham.
A wide variety of local clubs, groups and societies will be there to talk about what they do. With plenty of hands-on activities for visitors, there will be something for everyone.
Interests represented this year include art, family history, photography, archaeology, yoga, amateur radio, Grantham Canal Society, Girlguiding and more. Entry is free.
n The popular ‘Mind, Body, Spirit’ returns on March 17 with six mediums already confirmed. Entry is £2.50 on the night.
n A bi-annual craft market is being held on Saturday, April 8, from 10am to 4pm. The museum will be filled with beautiful gifts of all descriptions, all hand-made by local craftspeople. Entry is free.
n A fashion exhibition is planned to run from May to December – more details to follow. A spokesman said: “Sufficed to say, fashion in Grantham has always been on the cutting edge and we hope to show just how it evolved through the decades.”
Grantham Museum could not survive without donations from the public and sponsors. If you are interested in supporting the museum, email info@grantham museum.org.uk or call 01476 568783 for more details.